Friday, November 29, 2013

Sun Stand Still Devotional (Review)

Sun Stand Still Devotional: A 40-Day Experience of Daring Faith  -     By: Steven Furtick

The Sun Stand Still Devotional, by Steven Furtick, challenges the reader to make the leap into “audacious faith.” Each of the 40 daily readings begins with a Bible reference to read. Several pages of encouragement follow, helping the reader to apply the passage to modern day life and giving numerous examples from the author of audacious faith in his own life.

Sun Stand Still is not a “name it and claim it” message. While Furtick insists that God can do anything, he explains that “Faith is governed by laws and principles, but it can’t be condensed into a magic formula. God is way too big to be confined in some blab-it-and-grab-it formula of theology. His thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways…What we have faith for, ultimately, is God’s plan, not our own.”

Still, the author has made huge leaps of faith in his own life based on what he believes God is calling him to do, including selling his home and moving across the country in order to start a new church (which grew to a membership of thousands in a short time).

The reader will learn to grow his or her faith by learning what scripture says about faith and God’s promises, by looking to the examples of prophets and disciples in the Bible, and by being challenged to trust God while stepping out boldly to accomplish God’s will.

I was challenged and inspired by this book. I underlined quite a few passages as I read, and will be returning to the book to study it more as I learn to boldly trust God in my own life.

Read Chapter One of the Sun Stand Still Devotional.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Favorite Homeschool Review Products

As the Schoolhouse Review year comes to a close, I’m looking back over the many products that our family has been privileged to try out. It’s been a busy year—I‘ve done reviews for 33  different items! I’ve been accepted back onto the Crew for another year and can’t wait to find out what’s coming up next!

These are a few of my favorites (with the review linked):

Homeschool Spanish Academy

Flip Flop Spanish

Institute for Excellence in Writing

Essentials in Writing

Bridgeway Learning Labs

IXL Online Math and Language Arts

Moving Beyond the Page

See the Light Art Projects videos

Supercharged Science


You can read about the entire Schoolhouse Review Crew’s favorites (and find some fantastic resources for your family) at the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog!

Love and Respect in the Family (Review)

Love & Respect in the Family: The Respect Parents Desire;  The Love Children Need    -     By: Emerson Eggerichs

One of my very favorite marriage books is Love and Respect, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. The concept that what men really desire is respect and that women really need is love was eye-opening to me. Eggerichs explains that when women don’t feel love, they act disrespectful and when men don’t feel respected, they act unloving. This creates a “crazy cycle” and disharmony in the home.

I was excited to see Eggerechs’ newest book, Love and Respect in the Family: The Respect Parents Desire; The Love Children Need, which extends the concept to the relationship between parents and children.

Eggerechs explains that what parents want most from their children is respect; when they don’t receive it, they tend to react in ways that children perceive as unloving. Children, on the other hand, want love from parents; when they feel unloved, they react with disrespect. He gives tips for breaking this cycle. The responsibility for making changes rests, of course, primarily with the parents.

Eggerichs  proposes six parenting guidelines, abbreviated by the acronym “GUIDES.”

  • G—Give—Meet children’s needs generously.
  • U—Understand—Listen to your child. Try to understand him, and make sure he knows you are trying to understand.
  • I—Instruct—Patiently teach children to know and apply God’s wisdom.
  • D—Discipline—Help your child correct poor choices.
  • E—Encourage your child to find and use his areas of giftedness.
  • S—Supplicate—Pray for your child.

This book fell into my lap at a perfect time. I’ve been increasingly frustrated with the increasing levels of disrespect that my child is showing. Now, I have more ideas of how to break this cycle by showing love, and am already seeing some small improvements in her attitude.

To me, some of the most valuable chapters in the book were the ones that validated my observations that children sometimes DON’T make the correct choices. Some children will choose to act unloving and disrespectful despite anything the parents can do. Eggerechs encourages parents to persevere and to imagine Christ standing behind their child, so that everything that is said is said to Christ. Even if the child makes the wrong choices, we are honoring God by making the right choices ourselves. As the author says, “My response is my responsibility.”

I found Love and Respect in the Family to be an excellent parenting tool, full of good advice and real-life examples of how to apply the principles.

I received a free copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Leonardo da Vinci Exhibit

I was thrilled when I heard about the traveling Leonardo da Vinci exhibit that was making a stop at the US Space and Rocket Center. Since we’re just finishing up a (6 month!) study of the Renaissance, the timing was perfect! Of course, I would still have been anxious to visit even if it didn’t fit into our current history studies.

First, we spent a little time in the main exhibit hall for the US Space and Rocket Center. We’ve been here before, so we only stayed here for about 30 minutes. It’s a great place to learn all about the history of space exploration, to experiment with some of the scientific principles, and to see and even climb inside models of different space capsules. (Side note: when I was Emily’s age, the first monkey in space, Miss Baker, lived here too!)


Then, we moved on to the traveling da Vinci exhibit. One entire room was filled with models and replicas of inventions from his notebooks. I was impressed by the sheer number of them, as well as the variety.



Copies of some of da Vinci’s masterpieces.


Leonardo’s notebooks.


The Mona Lisa look!


And we finished up with a visit to the climbing wall!


If you’re in the Huntsville, AL area, this exhibit (and the Space and Rocket Center) are well worth a visit!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Best Schoolhouse Review Products of the Year


The 250 reviewers in the Schoolhouse Review Crew voted on their very favorite homeschool review products of the year and the results are just out!

28 different companies earned awards in different subject areas (math, science, foreign language, toy, book, magazine, etc.). Many of these companies, such as IXL, God’s World News, Institute for Excellence in Writing, and Homeschool Spanish Academy were some of our personal favorites as well.

You can read about some of the very BEST homeschool products at the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Educational Apps for Kindle (Free and Low-cost)

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Educational apps for Kindle Fire

There are LOTS of educational apps for i-products, but good ones are a little harder to find for the Kindle. These are some of the paid and free educational apps for the Kindle Fire that I’ve found. I’ve tried to focus here on school-age apps rather than preschool ones. We’ve tried many, but not all of these. They do, however, all have good ratings on Amazon. I’d love to hear about some of your favorites!

Free Apps!



Interactive Time Telling App


My Homework Student Planner 

Spanish in a Month (We LOVE this! We purchased the paid app listed below after trying out the 2 free levels in this free version.)

Spelling Bee

Interactive Periodic Table of the Elements

Math Slicer (Fruit Ninja for math!)



Speed Anatomy


Jog Nog: Quizzes for Common Core Test Prep; Grades 2-8

Art Museum Match ‘Em Up—Learn about famous artists and their paintings.

 US Citizenship Test Prep (Should be useful for anyone to brush up on US history and government!)

 The Oregon Trail: American Settlers







Paid Apps

These e-books ($0.99 and $2.99 include reviews of hundreds of Kindle Fire apps for kids.


Learning Games Series: These are very highly rated. $1.99 each.

1st Grade 2nd Grade

Stack the States $0.99 and Stack the Countries $1.99 teach capitals, landmarks, location of states and countries, and more.  We have these and like them a lot.

Spanish in a Month ($3.99) We have this and really like it. It uses a Rosetta Stone-type format where the player chooses the correct photo out of 4 choices.

Art Memory Game ($1.28)

Bridge Constructor ($1.99) –Learn about types of bridges and physics concepts.